His Dark Materials’ “The Spies” Is an Exposition-Heavy Calm Before the Storm

We open on Lyra, kidnapped by the Gobblers and then immediately rescued by Ben, Tony Costa, and some other gyptian youths. She is taken back to the gyptian gathering on the Thames where many different clans have met to find their children.

Mrs Coulter descends on Jordan College with a squad of Magisterium grunts, intending to put the screws to the Master so that he’ll give up Lyra’s location. She impugns the idea of Scholastic Sanctuary and he tells her that she has failed as Lyra’s guardian. She discovers alethiometer divination guides and vows to destroy the College once she finds the contraband device. He then reveals that Lyra has the alethiometer—another thing she has lost.

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Tor Books to Publish a New Science Fiction Novel From Eragon Author Christopher Paolini

Christopher Paolini, author of the blockbuster Inheritance Cycle fantasy series, is venturing into new frontiers.

Tor Books has announced the acquisition of To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, a new science fiction novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christopher Paolini, to publish on September 15, 2020.

What can we expect from the author of Eragon? Read on:

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Vote for the Best Books of 2019 in the Goodreads Choice Awards Final Round!

It’s the Final Round of the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards! The Opening Round and Semifinal Round have pared down the nominees to a final 10 choices in each category; among the finalists are Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth, Marlon James’ Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Seanan McGuire’s Middlegame, Rivers Solomon’s The Deep, Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone’s This Is How You Lose the Time War, Oyinkan Braithwaite’s My Sister, the Serial Killer, Shaun Hamill’s A Cosmology of Monsters, Rainbow Rowell’s Wayward Son, and Alix E. Harrow’s The Ten Thousand Doors of January. 

Below, find your choices for the Final Round in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and more!

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Just Imagine the Possibilities: Neil Gaiman & Sarah Parcak on Archaeology From Space

It is a privileged few humans that get to see the Earth from space, that get to observe our planet in its most blue-marbley of forms. Archaeologist Sarah Parcak is one such human.

As a pioneer in the field of Space Archaeology, Parcak uses satellite imagery and algorithms to detect subtle clues that indicate things buried underground. She believes that archaeology helps us evolve as a culture, and that discovering new information about our past “will do nothing less than unlock the full potential of our existence.” Parcak and her team are uncovering lost artifacts, buried heroes, and discovering tools that help us rethink what we know about humanity on Earth.

But what happens when we start thinking beyond Earth? Would the same archaeological principals apply if we looked at alien civilizations, if we discovered evidence of life on another planet?

Neil Gaiman talked with Sarah Parcak about her work, what we have yet to discover, and the possibility of life beyond earth.

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Agency and Mind Control in Andre Norton’s Ice Crown

Now that I’ve read and reread a wide range of Norton novels from the Fifties to the early years of the new millennium, I’ve concluded that, for me, her “golden age” ran from the early Sixties through the mid-Seventies. Her official “Golden Age of SF” books of the Fifties have a distinct retro charm, and her later works kept on trucking for decades, delivering the patented Norton themes and settings and the occasional new one—and then there are her many collaborations with younger writers, some of them truly fine. But from about 1962 until about 1976, she wrote the novels that spoke to me most clearly and influenced my own writing the most.

I managed to miss Ice Crown at the time (1970). It hasn’t displaced any of my favorites from the period. But it’s classic Sixties/Seventies Norton.

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Riot Baby ARC Sweepstakes!

Marlon James (author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf) says Tochi Onyebuchi’s Riot Baby “bursts at the seams of story with so much fire, passion and power that in the end it turns what we call a narrative into something different altogether.” – and we want to send you a copy!

 

Ella has a Thing. She sees a classmate grow up to become a caring nurse. A neighbor’s son murdered in a drive-by shooting. Things that haven’t happened yet. Kev, born while Los Angeles burned around them, wants to protect his sister from a power that could destroy her. But when Kev is incarcerated, Ella must decide what it means to watch her brother suffer while holding the ability to wreck cities in her hands.

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Revealing Aliya Whiteley’s The Loosening Skin

When people shed their skin every seven years, it’s just a fact of life that we will cast off all the attachments of our old life. And when our loves are part of us, those memories of love can be bought, if you know the right people. Introducing the new drug, Suscutin, that will prevent the moult. Now you can keep your skin forever. Now you never need to change who you are…

We’re excited to share the cover and preview an excerpt from Aliya Whiteley’s The Loosening Skin, publishing in June 2020 with Titan Books!

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What Are The 3–Now 4–“Unanswered Questions” from The Wheel of Time?

In 2013, The Wheel of Time concluded with the publication of the final volume, A Memory of Light, written by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. Jordan’s world is detailed and expansive, so it was inevitable that there simply wouldn’t be room within the narrative to answer every question raised within the series.

[Spoilers ahead for the very end of The Wheel of Time!]

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The Great Man Theory and Historical Change in SFF

The question of what factors drive historical change has intrigued historians from the very beginning, when the earliest scholars first turned their attention to studying and interpreting the past. To find the answer(s) to this key question, historians make use of social science theories. These theories help make sense of the inherent contradictions found in human behavior and human society.

[One of the most persistent theories is The Great Man Theory…]

9 Canonical Star Wars Books for Every Fandom Need

There’s only a month until the release of Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, but maybe that’s still not soon enough? If you’re already jonesing for more Star Wars, there’s always The Mandaloriancurrently in the midst of its first season—but there are plenty of other adventures waiting in a galaxy far far away. Here’s a shortlist of our favorite Star Wars novels, with something for every type of fan!

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